The Dinos swim team finished second overall at the Canada West Swimming Championships in Lethbridge Jan. 23-25. They fell short to their rivals, the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds by a hefty 212 points.
While they didn't come out on top, the lady Dinos' were historic. They qualified 18 of a possible 18 swimmers for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships set to take place in February. This is the first time the Dinos women have qualified the maximum number of participants for the championships.
The Dinos men also had a strong showing, with 15 swimmers clocking times quick enough to qualify for the national championships.
Women's team Captain Juliana Heinz admits that 212 points leaves a lot of room for improvement, but she is proud of her team's efforts at the meet and says they are indicative of things to come.
"Two-hundred and twelve points is actually quite a bit," explained Heinz. "UBC and U of C have always had quite a rivalry, and we're always a close second."
Teams are awarded 20 points for an individual win and 40 points for a relay win. These are tallied to give the total number of team points.
Heinz says she is optimistic for the CIS meet, especially after the team has a chance to put in some long hours in the pool and then rest up.
"We weren't rested or in top form going into the Canada West, a lot of us were hurting. We'll be training pretty hard the next three weeks and then we'll taper in time for CI's," explained Heinz. "We have 18 girls with a really good team and a lot of medal potential."
Top performances at the meet were achieved by men's swimmer Chad Hankewich, who walked away with five individual medal finishes. On the women's side, Emma Spooner and Liz Hendrick both racked up three top three finishes.
The Dinos took gold in the men's 800m and women's 400m relay, as well as the women's 100m freestyle and 400m medley. They added a pair of silvers in the women's 200m freestyle and men's 400m medley.
The swim team heads to Edmonton Feb. 25-27 to compete at CIS championships.